Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | April 30, 2013

Great Moments in Poor Fiscal Planning

Carny Game

We’ve all done things we regret at carnivals.

Sometimes it’s devouring deep-fried butter on a stick. Sometimes it’s getting emasculated by the strongman hammer game. Sometimes it’s playing the “guess my weight” game and finding out that you look way fatter than you thought you did. Sometimes it’s riding the tilt-a-whirl after eating the aforementioned deep-fried butter on a stick thus leaving the ride forever engrained in your memory as the tilt-a-hurl.

Most of the time, however, it’s throwing your money away on carny games.

I’m not going to get on my high horse and pretend that I’ve never given fistfuls of my hard-earned cash to a fly-by-night conman strung out on oxycotin in an attempt to win a meager prize.

I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’ve lived to tell the tale.

What I haven’t done, however, is follow up my short-sighted decision by running off to retrieve the rest of my life savings in an attempt to go double or nothing.

According to WBZ-Boston, that’s precisely what Henry Gribbohm of Epsom, New Hampshire did:

Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings, $2,600, on a carnival game and all he has to show for it is a stuffed banana with dreadlocks.

“It’s not possible that it wasn’t rigged,” said Gribbohm.

The 30-year-old from Epsom says he kept trying to win back his money by going double or nothing. He dropped $300 in just a few minutes, then says he went home to get $2,300 more and soon lost all of that as well.

“You just get caught up in the whole ‘I’ve got to win my money back.’”

Although those choice quotes are solid, if you didn’t click through to the full-story, I highly-recommend you watch the video interview:

Listen, fella…I don’t want to be the one to break this to you, but there are a lot of problems with this whole scenario.

First, you’re wearing a tank top out in public. Clean it up, Bro.

Second, you allowed WBZ to film stock footage of you, your child, and the dreadlocked banana looking forlorn walking down the street. Respect yourself.

Third, you kept your life-savings at home? Maybe you needed to have that kind of cash on hand in case there was an emergency creatine shortage or Baby Gap ran out of those tank taps you fancy or something, but maybe look into a bank or something, where they have ATM withdrawal limits to keep people from doing stupid shit like this.

Fourth, you wanted to win an XBOX Kinect? How’s about you take that $300 you blew before you went home to give away the rest of your meager life savings and you just walk down to Best Buy and purchase one for $299.99. Come on, Meathead…you’re better than this.

Fifth, the news crew is laughing their ass off at you at the end of this clip. This is supposed to be a piece to evoke sympathy for you. You have not proven worthy of sympathy to the people who set out to create that vibe for you. Ponder that, Henry…ponder it hard.

Sixth, the inevitably coked-out carny was already nice enough to give you back $600 and let you keep that sweet-ass Rastafarian banana and you’re still going to file a lawsuit against the carnival? Let me know how that one works out, Champ…my Magic 8 Ball says “Outlook Not So Good.”

Now, maybe I’m missing something here and Henry has a big-time, slam-dunk lawsuit on his hands and he’s going to shut these charlatans down once and for all. The problem is, I’ve got to think that people much smarter and far less gullible than Henry Gribbohm have probably tried and failed when it comes to suing carnies.

All of the sketchy carnival games that we’ve all tossed our money (or our parents’ money) away on in the past were blatantly described as “games of chance.” Albeit, totally rigged chance…but chance nonetheless.

Plus, seriously, you got to keep that f’n banana, Bro.

Chin up, you’re a winner.

Henry Gribbohm

Rastafarian Banana has to be worth $3K, right?!


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